Over the holidays, Julia and Floris, great friends of ours from Holland, enjoyed a three week vacation here in Atenas.

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This time they brought along Leida, who also quickly became a friend, to explore the natural beauty of Costa Rica. On their last full day in Atenas, Leida wanted to soak up a bit more of the nature that she had fallen in love with while in Costa Rica.

I planned a day of fun at two of my favorite nature spots in our area; El Bosque del Niño in Grecia, and El Rio and Cataratas La Union in Desmonte. Needless to say, both destinations were a big hit with the “House of Orange”.

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From Atenas, El Bosque del Niño is a pleasant 45 minute drive, while the Rio La Union is just 20 minutes away. We headed out early for Grecia to enjoy a nice hike in the forest, which smells strong and sweet of pine and cypress.

We ended our day with another small hike and a refreshing swim under the waterfalls at El Rio La Union. Entrance into El Bosque cost $5 for foreigners and 600 colones for locals or residents. Entrance to La Union is free.

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Bosque del Niño, Grecia, Costa Rica:

Starting high above the town of Grecia in the neighborhood of Calle Rodriguez, the Bosque del Niño is the beginning of a long trek up the side of Volcan Poas. Created in 1973, a pine and cypress forest was planted by local children as part of the reserve.

Receiving between 140-160 inches of rain per year, this reserve is teeming with nature. The hiking trails are well marked and maintained. One of the trails leads you to a beautiful waterfall and river.

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The other eventually takes you to the summit of Volcan Poas. The trails require you to be in moderately good physical condition and it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the circuit.

Rio and Catarats La Union, Desmonte, Costa Rica:

Located just off of Highway 3 (El Aguacate) about 20 minutes drive from Atenas, you will come upon a flashing yellow light marking the ‘centro’ of Desmonte.

Desmonte is a small village of a few hundred families, many of which settled there years ago to work in the now abandoned silver mine that borders the Rio Union. The Rio Union starts high in the mountains above Desmonte, near the border with San Ramon.

After thousands of years of forcefully coming down the mountain, the river is mostly carved into solid rock with high, impressive banks and massive bolder formations in the middle of the river. All of these elements combine to create spectacular waterfalls.

From the flashing yellow light, about 2 kilometers up the hill, you will find a bridge and a makeshift parking area (on the weekends and holidays it will be filled to capacity, so plan to arrive early).

Park and begin your hike upriver, traversing the rock formations and waterfalls, and enjoy the stunning beauty that surrounds you. Along the way, you will encounter large swimming holes that have be created by the force of nature. It’s a wonderful opportunity to commune with Mother Earth!

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Fun and Adventure At Two Of My Favorite Nature Spots Near Atenas, Costa Rica!
Article ID Number 5062

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There is one comment:

  • Isabelle at 12:30 am

    Hello I wanted to know if it is a difficult hike, hip problem, and how long it would take.gracias Isabelle

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